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Comment Re:Time to switch (Score 2) 206

I don't disagree with your observation at all. I think that Microsoft created a lot of fill in solutions that were baked into workflow over the 90's/00's (abuses of Excel as a poor man's database).

Most of the people I know that "must have" Excel are people that have inherited (or grew into) a position where they'd be a lot happier if they'd have picked up *SQL and tossed some of their learning curve toward php/python. However, Microsoft did something "right" with Office... they let the end user build complexity in an environment that required no additional tools nor unsightly under the hood involvement.

The number of times I've been brought into a project that begins with someone sharing a massive .xlsm and then shaking their head why I can't open it right then and there (my legacy responsibilities are still as a Mac sysadmin, so I carry a Macbook) never fails to amuse (and frustrate) me. The same goes with finding out that 'Bob' is leaving and has a couple of decades of workflow baked into Access, now someone needs to maintain those projects (I've seen the same with Filemaker, btw....).

Right now, I'm watching an absolute abuse of Google's offerings spread like wild fire. People are pulled into projects and are churning out immediate 'results' by offering up a mish-mash of Forms/Sheets/extensions and addons... None of them are developers, many don't even qualify as power users but are being directed from above into positions of visibility in areas that are not their strength. This (in my opinion) is the net result of the "Do more with less." philosophy that's becoming increasingly pervasive in my industry.

The real problem turns into this: All of this could be cleared up with some planning and development time. The cycle could end, but it won't. Path of least resistance is to continue on and force more and more people through a cycle of learning someone's else's ad hoc solutions as part of a mission critical product.

As I'm approaching 50, I'm starting to see why so many in our field say, "Screw this, I'd rather work with my hands." I think back to my university days of running heavy equipment to pay the bills (and before I made a little too much money installing the odd Lantastic networks for local businesses) and regret not sticking with that philosophy major (or just running a backhoe and playing guitar).

Comment Re:That's what you do (Score 2) 155

Years ago a McDonalds manager conducted an interview a couple tables away as I ate a late lunch. Have you ever worked before? No. Do you have the two items for the I-9 form? No. Do you know your social security number? No. Okay, well get those things and come back.

Then an assistant manager came over. The manager says to her, "If he comes back, we'll probably hire him because he can speak English."

Submission + - Paying Customer Dragged from United Flight (nytimes.com) 7

LeftCoastThinker writes: United Airlines forcibly dragged a paying customer from a Chicago flight after overbooking it so that 4 United executives could board the flight to a corporate meeting. The actual violence was committed by a airport police officer who is now on leave.

Comment Downgrade (Score 1) 230

"This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city's technology infrastructure," Rawlings said

This is an even better example of the need to downgrade. The sirens weren't always connected to the Internet. What compelling reason requires them to be connected to the Internet now?

Internet security lesson #1: if it doesn't need to be connected to the Internet, don't connect it to the Internet.

Comment Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 110

I have no horse in this race; beyond setting up a RetroPie build that includes a few NES/SNES games, Nintendo hasn't been on my radar in over twenty years.

That said... A Reddit post from yesterday consisting of a "Hey, Reddit... look at this shit!" with a "Yeah, me too!" in the comments now constitutes a discussion on Slashdot? Is this really where we're going?

Fuck the signal, let's just pump noise! Good job, BeauHD.

Comment no means no (Score 1) 3

I've been doing Linux development work for a quarter of a century and not once have I been asked to do it with Windows tools. The worst I've been asked is to use a Windows desktop with remote access to the Linux servers. The second worst was being asked to use the Linux client for the Windows-based version control system. Neither of these things was particularly bad.

If your employer is doing stupid things like demanding you do Linux work without administrative access to your development environment, find a new employer. Your current one won't change, he'll just fail. Why fail with him?

Comment Annotated (Score 1) 2

The key word here is "annotated". Malamud had and has the right to publish the actual text of Georgia law. The annotations explain the law and correlate it with judicial precedent. They are not the law itself thus can be copyrighted.

That having been said, the state's claim of copyright on the work it deems the official publication of the law is a double-edged sword that's likely to cut them as well.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 1) 667

If you think a lawyer (using this occupation as a placeholder) in Mississippi and a lawyer in New York don't have largely similar standards of living when compared to lawyers in the rest of the world, then we are both using English but not using the same language.

You were talking about free trade in the post that I replied to. You seemed to imply that you find it acceptable, within the context of the EU, because the member-states have similar standards of living and labor laws. This is false. As I said, we do not even have similar standards of living and labor laws within the United States. Indeed, a lot of corporations go out of their way to locate their facilities within so-called "right to work" States, where wages are lower and the legal balance is tilted more in the employer's favor.

The same trend has been happening for years within the EU. Most of the Nokia phones I purchased over the years were made in Romania. Why? Wages are cheaper there than they are in Finland. Romania is the South Carolina of the EU and Nokia moved production there for the same reasons that Boeing built their new plant in South Carolina rather than Washington.

You're right to say that a lawyer in Mississippi will have a similar standard of living to a lawyer in New York. He may even have it better; he'll make less money than the New York lawyer, but the cost of living is significantly cheaper, so much so that he may effectively be richer than his New York counterpart. That doesn't change the fact that New York has it better when we look at average metrics, things like educational attainment, life expectancy, obesity rates, etc. And if we want to talk about labor laws and regulations, well, there's no contest between the Northeast and the Gulf Coast.

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 3, Insightful) 251

not because they think it's genuinely the optimal solution for any real world problem

Three words: Base load power.

Even the most optimistic assessment of solar and wind do not envision them as a replacement for the base load. I'm only aware of two carbon-neutral sources for base load power: nuclear and hydro. The latter doesn't have much room left for growth, certainly not enough to replace coal and natural gas, so what does that leave you with?

Frankly, I don't see how anyone that accepts anthropological climate change can be against nuclear power. If you believe the impact of climate change to be as bad as many say it will be then the economics of nuclear power are irrelevant. It's a necessary investment to bring down carbon emissions.

Comment Re:They really don't understand. (Score 4, Informative) 366

I get the underlying disgust, man.

I work in public education with adults (very well paid, upper tier district administrators) that say this kind of shit. I'm also fed up with the whole "hour of code" based lego blocking of tiles on a screen once a year and saying it means something (yes, it'd be a great on ramp if STEM began in K-2 and the student was using a touch screen interface... but we'd still have to discuss why STEM should start with programming vs. a solid foundation in traditional math, science and literacy).

And to have the whole summary neck deep in the first lady and some model that dates her brother-in-law...? Wha?!?

So, yeah. I get it. But the thing to remember is that a 5 year old is the one that made the comment about coding being a "language". 5 year old's get a pass, because they're wee ones, not idiots. They often turn into idiots, unfortunately -- but at 5, they're not.

Except Billy. That kid is as dumb as box of rocks.

Comment Re:Tradeoffs (Score 3, Insightful) 667

This isn't "globalist", it is exiting a regional trade pact. I have misgivings about free trade, but almost none of those apply to countries with similar standards of living, similar product safety requirements, similar financial rules, easy migration, and similar worker protections.

We don't have similar standards of living, worker protections, educational attainment, or health outcomes across the 50 United States. What makes you think the EU can claim such outcomes between members? The anti-EU crowd was bitching about internal EU migration years before they started bitching about the Islamic "invasion." Imagine a New Yorker getting pissed because someone from Mississippi moved next door and took his job....

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